The Reelflexologist – Live
08 Jul 2013 | Celtic Rock

The Picts Biography

Formed in February 1997, The Picts have become one of the most popular live acts on the folk rock and concert scene. They have reached out with their unique brand of Celtic rock and captivated hundreds of audiences both at home and abroad.

The story so far…

1997 – 2005

T in the Park 1998

T in the Park 1998

 

 

Since the early days of the band they have never been far from the limelight. In 1997 they headlined the Hogmanay Bash at George Square, Glasgow in front of 40,000 people. In July 2011 they played for the tenth year at T in the Park; Scotland’s biggest music festival. They were invited twice to play at the famous Interceltique Festival in Lorient, Brittany, to great acclaim from the French press and enthusiastic appreciation from the audiences; this led to a considerable amount of interest in the band throughout Europe.

Interceltique Festival of Lorient, France 1999

Interceltique Festival of Lorient, France 1999

 

Amongst countless festivals, concerts, and ceilidhs they played at the James Bond Event in Aberdeen (Britain’s biggest ever student event) for two years running, headlined the Celtic stage of the Stirling Millennium Hogmanay celebrations, took part in the Gael 2000 concert in Coventry with comedian Roy Walker and returned to France to headline Celtifolies; the first ever Celtic festival in Lyon.

Stirling Millennium Celebrations 2000

Stirling Millennium Celebrations 2000

 

 

The band performed a number of sell-out concerts in Glasgow’s famous Cottier Theatre and was asked to perform at the wedding of Dougie Payne (Travis) and Kelly MacDonald (Trainspotting). In August 2004 The Picts were asked back for the third time to do the closing night of the Tennent’s West Highland Week Yachting Festival in Oban and at Hogmanay 2004 they played the last gig at the Cottier’s Theatre in Glasgow as it shut down for long-term refurbishment.

Hogmanay, Cottier's Theatre 2004

Hogmanay, Cottier’s Theatre 2004

They also recorded a live EP at a sell-out concert in Oran Mor, Glasgow in 2005.

 

 

With their many radio interviews and appearances, The Picts have been heard on countless stations throughout the country; most notablyon the BBC Radio Scotland’s program ‘The Lemontree,’ bringing their music to a wider audience.  They took part in BBCRadio nanGaidheal’s live broadcast ‘Tiompan’ for BBC music live. They also played live on Breakfast TV and appeared on a live Millennium Hogmanay show for LTV. In October 2000 they were filmed in a video for the Gaelic music program ‘@ Ire’ for the BBC.

2006 – 2010

In 2006 the band began the year by playing at the ‘02 Burns Supper and the TV celebrity-packed ten year anniversary of the Comedy Unit in Glasgow. A trip to the Celtic Festival of Wales followed this and a magical trip to headline the Festival des HautesTerres at Saint-Flour in the south of France. On their return to Scotland they played at T in The Park for the 9th time.

Festival des HautesTerres at Saint-Flour 2006

Festival des HautesTerres at Saint-Flour 2006

Among other festivals and concerts, the Picts played at Drams in the field festival, which was held in beautiful Glen Elg and they took part in the Thunder in the Glen Rally for the second consecutive year in August 2007. On St Andrews Day 2007 The Picts returned to play in George Square, Glasgow, almost ten years after they had headlined the Hogmanay bash there. The Event was called Shindig in the Square; Glasgow’s celebration of Scotland’s Winterfest Festival, which featured an appearance from the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. In 2008 the band played at the Microsoft Burns Supper in Edinburgh and at the closing night of the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, before it was closed for long-term refurbishment. They also appeared at the Highland Hospice in Inverness for St Andrews Day.

 

George Square, Glasgow Winterfest 2007

George Square, Glasgow Winterfest 2007

Early on in 2006, members of The Picts formed The Court of Equity; a more acoustic, folk-orientated version of the band which based on the works of Robert Burns. They played twice at the International Robert Burns Conference in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, and at Wellwood House, Irvine at an event held in honour of G. Ross Roy, who was widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on Robert Burns. The homecoming year saw the band play at the Highland Hospice Burns Supper, which also featured Donnie Munro (Ex Runrig front-man) and other celebrities.

The Picts began the Homecoming year of 2009 playing at Aberdeen’s Burns Extravaganza for the Homecoming Celebrations and in May 2009 took part in the East Lothian and Dunbartonshire Homecoming Celebrations. The Picts also played at many festivals, including The Haddington Festival in East Lothian, The Lamlash Gala Week on the Island of Arran and The Tartan Day Celebrations in Aberdeen.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010

 

The Court of Equity played several sell-out concerts throughout Scotland, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They also played at openings of Homecoming exhibitions and gigs at various Burns Clubs including those in Kilbirnie, Dundonald, Grants Braes, and Skelmorlie.

Apart from performing at concerts and festivals, The Picts are a hard-working band, and as such, much of the year’s schedule is taken up playing at various functions.  These take the band far and wide across the length and breadth of Scotland, as well as to the south of England and on the continent.

2011 – 2014

2011 was a busy year for both The Picts and the Court of Equity; Both bands took part in the Haddington Festival in May and June and The Picts played the closing night of The Arran Folk Festival on the 11th of June. As well as various concerts throughout the year they also had a busy schedule of functions to attend. It was a great summer of gigs for the guys playing at the Morham Festival, the Arran Folk Festival, T-in-the-Park, the Tartan Day Parade in Aberdeen, the Battle of Harlaw Memorial Celebrations, the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow and The Sail and Oar Festival in Millport. They ended the year by playing at Hogmanay in the exclusive Inverlochy Castle, in Fort William.

T in the Park

T in the Park 2011

2012 began with The Picts playing a sell out concert at the Brunton Theatre at Musselburgh, as well as the Microsoft Burns Supper at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield for the Scottish Rugby Union. In March that year seen the start of the recordings of two new albums for The Court of Equity “The songs and Poems of Robert Burns” Volumes I and II with top producer Greg Friel. The albums which feature the more acoustic sound of the Picts featured many guest speakers reciting the poems of Robert Burns including The First Minister, Alex Salmond. The recording was finally completed in December 2012 after months of long hard work. During 2012 the band also played two nights at Lennoxlove House for the play “The Mother of all Burns” with Scottish actress Anne Raitt and returned to The Brunton Theatre for a sell out concert in the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival for which the received a four star review from the official festival reviewers. Amongst the many private and corporate functions that year The Picts also played for Visit Scotland in the great hall of Stirling Castle, and various other events from Inverness in the North to deep in the heart of England.

The Picts at Tantallon Castle 2013

The Picts at Tantallon Castle 2013

2013 seen the soft launch of The two Court of Equity albums and various gigs around the country to promote the albums. The Picts also recorded a video with Producer Greg Friel for the opening track of the album “Killiecrankie” which was an immediate success and lead to a huge surge in the bands following on social media, including The Picts first USA fan page. Apart from the promotional gigs for the albums the band had a very busy year of gigs with private events and corporate functions. They also returned to the Sail and Oar Festival on the Island of Cumbrae as the main act for the festival and ended the year at the exclusive Inverlochy castle, Fort William. 2013 also saw front-man Douglas McQueen Hunter working on his third solo album with producer Greg Friel.

2014 the band went back to basics to begin work on several new projects. They were busy developing and refining their unique sound. In February the band were honoured to be asked to take part once again at the Six Nations rugby match at Murrayfield between Scotland and England. As part of the Year of Homecoming 2014, The two Court of Equity albums were officially launched.

Live at Fombio 2016

Live at Fombio 2016

2015 – 2016

2015 was a crazy year for the band, between private functions and corporate events. January started with front-man Douglas McQueen Hunter performing on Burn’s Night. In May the band were excited to be part of the Burns An’ A’ That Festival.

2016 was a year of change, the band didn’t take a lot of private/corporate events…
In March the band were very happy to be part of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and in May two of the Picts (Douglas McQueen Hunter & Duggi Caird) went to Italy where they played part in the 1st Interceltic Festival of Fombio, which was a lot of fun!

Discography

The Pict The Island

The Pict The Island

The Picts Moving Sands

The Picts Moving Sands

The Picts first album is their highly acclaimed album, ‘The Island’ (1999) and the second is their equally highly acclaimed album, ‘Moving Sands’ released in July 2002. Both albums have been used by BBC Scotland for Gaelic television programmes and 45,600 copies of ‘The Island’s‘ opening track ‘The Peak’ were put on a new French compilation CD. Some of The Picts also played on the Album “Ghosts”, Picts frontman Douglas McQueen Hunter’s debut album (2004) and a live Ep was recorded at Oran Mor in Glasgow (2006). The Court of Equity albums Vol I and II were both released official for the year of homecoming 2014.

The Picts / The Court of Equity band members

Douglas Caird- Accordion, Keyboards, vocals and percussion

Douglas Caird – Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals and Percussion

Douglas McQueen Hunter – Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin, Bodhran and Percussion.

Douglas McQueen Hunter – Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin, Bodhran and Percussion

David Murray – Highland Bagpipes, Whistles, Harmonica and Percussion

David Murray – Highland Bagpipes, Whistles, Harmonica and Percussion